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Tour De Force Travel - Day Tours

St. Petersburg, Russia
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Tour De Force Travel - Day Tours
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Michael11 wrote a review Jun 2019
1 contribution1 helpful vote
We had a wonderful couple of days with Eugenia in St Petersburg. She is a great guide and like a walking encyclopaedia. We saw and learned a huge amount from her, and she has a great command of the English language. Of course we enjoyed all the famous sights in St Petersburg and we also enjoyed our two lunches very much. We were very impressed with Tour de Force. Everything was organised to perfection, from our very first contact, through the payment process, the information we were sent and, of course, the tour itself. I also appreciated your quick and informative responses to my e-mails. We will recommend you to friends without hesitation.
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Date of experience: June 2019
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Frank H wrote a review Aug 2018
Ashkelon, Israel23 contributions1 helpful vote
An outstanding two days with our very knowledgeable guide Jenia. Visited the Grand Choral Synagogue, the Jewish Community Centre and the Holocaust memorial as part of the Jewish tour. Then to the Hermitage where Jenia gave us an excellent overview of the art as she studied art for three years. The history of the palaces and gardens of Peter the Great and Catherine were all beautifully explained. Guide spoke perfect English and driver Costa was very pleasant. I can highly recommend this company for any tour of St Petersburg.
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Date of experience: August 2018
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Adrian B wrote a review Feb 2018
Ottawa, Canada4 contributions
Wow. Those three letters and one word sum up our trip experience. This includes the excellent service provided by the Tour de Force staff before we left and during our trip, the professionalism of Larissa and Yuri, the city and sights of St. Petersburg, the Gold Room, the ferry ride, and the beautiful Helvetia Hotel. We had some (unnecessary, in retrospect) worries about travelling to Russia---would we have all the necessary paperwork? what would it be like at passport control? would we get to see our highlights? would we be safe? Travellers usually have these worries regardless of their destination. But the distance and “newness” of travel to Russia made it both exciting and intimidating. Our trip experience started at home in Canada with the excellent service provided by the Tour de Force office, and especially Marina. The Tour de Force website, by the way, is excellent. It is visually appealing, easy to navigate, and it is professionally translated. I also liked the toll-free phone number. I was looking for the “visa free ferry from Helsinki”. “Tour de Force” popped up immediately on my Google search. This gave me some confidence immediately that Tour de Force was very professional. Our trip had several day trips, using Helsinki, Finland as home base. We were so relieved that we could have the whole St. Petersburg leg arranged in one package and with one vendor (return ferry; hotel; guide and driver; attraction tickets; meals). “One-stop shopping” as we say in Canada. We know that several staff at Tour de Force participated in our trip and we are so thankful for their help in making our trip so wonderful. Besides Larissa and Yuri, there were at least two other women (one who dropped off our food packages at the hotel and one who escorted us to the folklore show). Unfortunately, I cannot recall their names. We appreciate the teamwork to make sure that all the requests were met as planned and within the time limits. Your service was excellent, Marina. You responded to my initial contact “off line communication” and stayed with me through the planning and arranging. You were very patient and professional with me----you answered all my questions; handled all my special requests; reviewed my itinerary drafts; alerted me when there were only two deluxe A cabins left; sent me the confirmations so that we would have it before the weekend; you confirmed that our payment had been received; sending my art itinerary to Larissa. It is also a sign of a professionalism when the company or staff followed up to see if the client was happy with the experience. Tour de Force doesn’t just arrange trips and travel---it provides an experience! Larissa and Yuri were professional and attentive to our safety and enjoyment. They were an excellent team. Larissa was so well organized and enthusiastic about St. Petersburg and ensuring that we had a great trip. Yuri dropped us off as close as possible and when we came out of a church or museum, there he was! By the way, I giggled with delight Larissa gave us our “welcome pack” as soon as we were in the van. We were lucky that we didn’t have to use our rain ponchos---what a practical and considerate welcome gift! I also liked the little brochure explaining the history of the Romanovs. Larissa had my art itinerary with her (which was handy, because I had packed my copy in the suitcase). She gave me some additional handouts in the van. Larissa guided me to all the artwork (that was on display) that I had requested. Our private tour requests included typical Russian food packages. It worked out well, because we had to eat “on the run” on our first day, and we didn’t have time or energy for dinner to go to a restaurant in the evenings. Thank you to you and your staff for ordering, picking up and delivering the Russian pies, the desserts, doughnuts, and the treat box of caviar, cheese, vodka and chocolates. The delay on the ferry was not a problem at all. The a la carte breakfast with champagne and caviar was a great way to start the day. The cabins were quite comfortable. The Helvetia Hotel was lovely and the breakfast was ample, and again, champagne and caviar! Nice treat to have a welcome glass of champagne. Viktoria and Evgeni and the staff were fluent and welcoming. Lovely courtyard! We did experience some inconvenience with our room, however. We were pleasingly surprised when we were given the Helvetia Suite. Viktoria was so proud to tell us that it would make our trip to St. Petersburg memorable. At the end of our first day, when we arrived back at the Hotel, the front desk manager informed us that we had to move because there was a crew arriving from Moscow (they were just told that day) for maintenance on the room the next day. Then, there was much conversation about what room we would be given. We were given an option of another room but we couldn’t move to it that night because they were waiting for a family to let them know if they were taking it. We were exhausted and wanted to enjoy our pies and relax. The front desk manager, and then Evgeni, came up to talk to us. This was at least two hours of back and forth. As a result, we didn’t unpack completely and we had to pack our bags and get our stuff together because the staff would be moving our belongings sometime the next day. This was all very disruptive. Evgeni was very apologetic about the situation and most gracious. It appeared that the hotel was overbooked and the room we had reserved wasn’t available. Both substitute rooms were lovely. We understand they were bigger and fancier than the rooms we had bought. We certainly appreciated how they tried to accommodate us. Other than the room shuffle, I would recommend the Helvetia Hotel because of the ambience, food and welcoming and helpful staff. The Hermitage Gold Room tour exceed our expectations. We had to wait awhile before seeing it. The English-speaking Hermitage Gold Room tour guide was not available. This was not a problem. Larissa made arrangements on the spot to get a substitute. The curator took us through and Larissa translated for us. I’m glad that I read about the folklore show on Trip Advisor. The performance and the champagne (again!) went as expected. Trip Advisor warned visitors to guard their seats during intermission---which Adrian, me and a woman from Australia did by taking turns to go to the buffet. We saw some verbal confrontations about "seat stealing" between members of a tour group from Asia and some European tourists. The tour guides had to get involved to stop the shouting. I’m glad I did my reading! Thank you again, Catherine & Adrian Ottawa, Canada
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Date of experience: May 2017
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bcrich11 wrote a review Sep 2017
Arvada, Colorado1 contribution
Our group of 11 used Tour de Force for all our tours - Talinn, Estonia; St. Petersburg, Russia; Helsinki, Finland; and Stockholdm Sweden. We had excellent guides, all of whom spoke excellent English. Their knowledge of the history in each city was extraordinary. The vans were new or almost new and the drivers were all great. Using Tour de Force instead of booking excursions on the cruise ship was by far better and so much more enjoyable. We would not hesitate to use Tour de Force again for any of our travels.
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Date of experience: September 2017
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Alan G wrote a review Dec 2016
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Chose this smaller group tour rather than going on the cruise ship excursion. Turned out to be a great choice. Tour guide was excellent, very knowledgable on all the art in the museums and all general and historical matters. Good choice of restaurants selected on the tour and all the major venues visited.
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Date of experience: August 2016
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